Inventive, Driven, Creative
All of these words can be applied to sophomore Saint Joseph’s University’s student Emma Gugliemini. She is from Chester, New Jersey and currently a marketing major, but considering a double major in Business Intelligence & Analytics or Leadership, Ethics, and Organization (LEO). Emma is super involved on campus and is part of Delta Sigma Pi, Student Senate, Dean’s Leadership Program, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and the Honors Program! Her passion for business and creativity has led her to entrepreneurship opportunities that have given her much success. Inventive Jewels, her custom jewelry shop, allowed her to turn a hobby into a business. Her food page, @emmas.eaats that started just for fun, turned her into a food influencer. When talking with Emma, she has given us some background about these experiences and what led her to take the next step.
Questions & Answers
Q: What sparked your interest in jewelry making and when did you start Inventive Jewels?
A: I’ve always loved the idea of making and customizing my own jewelry instead of buying it from a store! I learned how to make necklaces, bracelets, and earrings for myself because I really love to customize my own jewelry and recreate pieces I see on Instagram or Pinterest. My friends and family wanted to buy their own versions, so I began selling to them and it took off from there!
Q: How did you turn it into a business? Where can we find your products and how has this idea brought you success?
A: I first started selling to my friends and family, and then reached out to local boutiques in my town that started selling my products. I also started my Etsy Shop when I was a Junior in high school. I think the coolest part of this is that I’ve shipped my designs to other countries (Australia, France, and Germany). It’s kind of crazy to receive those orders! You can find my products on Etsy but also on my Instagram– I also will get orders and sell through there as well. I usually can recreate my designs so if you see something you like on Instagram but it’s not on my Etsy, DM me!
Q: What are some of your other hobbies? Tell us how you started Emma’s eats!
A: I also am a huge foodie! I love exploring and eating at different restaurants (especially this semester in Philly). I started Emma’s Eats at the beginning of quarantine because I was super bored and had nothing to do- I loved experimenting and trying new recipes so I thought I’d share on an Instagram page to document everything. It was a great thing to keep me busy not only during quarantine, but also throughout the summer.
Q: When did you start getting traction to your food account? Did you do anything to promote it or was it just word of mouth?
A: I think a lot of others saw themselves in similar positions during quarantine, so I gained traction pretty quickly and organically! I think I saw so much growth also because I was pretty active and posted often. I didn’t really promote it to my friends or family, most of my growth was super organic which was cool!
Q: Tell us about some of the partnerships you have through that! What was it like having these companies reach out to you to influencer market their products?
A: I’ve partnered with a lot of super cool companies that I really love. SmartSweets is probably my favorite because I have a huge sweet tooth and they partner with me to do giveaways! I also loved partnering with Rise Brewing Co because their Nitro Cold Brew coffee is amazing (and I’m also addicted to coffee). It’s kind of crazy as a marketing student because in class I’m learning all about the business side of influencer marketing while actually gaining experience with it at the same time. It’s still a pinch-me moment when I receive packages in the mail.
Q: What have these two things taught you about entrepreneurship?
A: I think both of my experiences have taught me to be bold and make use of your connections! You never know who you’ll meet and who they’re connected to, so definitely start up conversations and don’t be afraid to go after what you want. Reaching out to local business owners to see if they were looking to sell jewelry really taught me to put myself out there and have no regrets!
Q: Any advice for students who are interested in turning a hobby into a business? And anything else you want to say?
A: My advice would definitely be to go after what you want and keep persisting until you reach your goals! Rejection is always hard, but it’s so worth it to put yourself out there in the end because you never know what opportunities will come your way.
Check Her Out!
Emma’s food page is the perfect way to explore places to eat in Philadelphia and get inspired with some healthy and easy recipes. Her jewelry store is best too for custom Christmas gifts and a great way to shop small this holiday season! Check out both her Instagram Pages @emmas.eaats and @inventivejewels for more.